Google+ 06/13/14 We Are Commanded to Forgive!

Ezekiel 18:16-18


He does not exploit the poor, but instead is fair to debtors and does not rob them.

He gives food to the hungry and provides clothes for the needy.

He helps the poor, does not lend money at interest, and obeys all my regulations and decrees. Such a person will not die because of his father’s sins; he will surely live.

But the father will die for his many sins—for being cruel, robbing people,

And doing what was clearly wrong among his people.


In part five of our six-part devotion series entitled, "Is That What It Means to be a Father?" Ezekiel shares with us that sometimes fathers don't know what it means to be a father.  The great news is we have a choice.  We will always benefit from a Godly father and never have to ultimately suffer for an ungodly one.  For many of us, that will bring great comfort.  I was fortunate and blessed as a child.  I grew up with Godly parents who supported me.  I grew up with a father that knew what it meant to be a father.  He was NEVER fair.  He was Godly.  He was always kind.  He was critical and complimentary.  For all of us "old school" parents, he did not spare the rod!  I am keenly aware, as a pastor, that many of us did not grow up with a Godly father.   I have listened to the heart-breaking stories and I have prayed for many open sores and wounds.  I have good news for all of us that have suffered these trials.  They are never permanent for the children.  God stands willing to heal us and accept us into His Kingdom where He is the Father.  We will never be punished, by God, for the sins of others.  We must pray for all those misguided fathers that we know.  What should we pray?  We must pray for their salvation.  They must repent and turn away from evil ways, deeds, and actions.  If they do, before Jesus returns, they can be forgiven by God.  Some tough news for us is that if they repent, we must also forgive them.  Many times this is REALLY tough and tests our faith.  Let's be honest.  Many times our dark side just wants to keep punishing those fathers who were misguided.  Many non-Christian counselors will encourage us to blame them for our present hurts and woes.  The Bible speaks differently about this issue, as difficult as it is.  Those who turn from any sin must be forgiven by us when they ask.  No choice in this at all.  In order for us to be forgiven, we must forgive.  As the song goes, "The Bible Tells Me So!"  So rejoice and realize we will never be punished for the sins of our fathers.  Search your hearts and be ready to be obedient when our fathers ask to be forgiven.  "We Are Commanded to Forgive!"